No Matter the Outcome, Bernie Sanders Is the Winner of This Election
On Saturday, Bernie Sanders won the Wyoming Democratic caucus with about 56 percent of the vote. It was an impressive win and his eighth victory out of the past nine contests. The last time he went up against Clinton on Tuesday, he won the Wisconsin Democratic primary, and he previously swept Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington by major margins.
These victories might not be enough for him take the party nomination; based on the math, he needs to grab more than 57 percent of the remaining delegates in order to knock Hillary Clinton out of the frontrunner position. Impossible? No. Likely? No. Still, he is winning.
A recent New York Times article about his campaign missteps revealed that Sanders never expected to be this popular — his foremost goal was to raise the issue of corruption within our political system.
"He was originally skeptical that he could beat Mrs. Clinton, and his mission in 2015 was to spread his political message about a rigged America rather than do whatever it took to win the nomination. By the time he caught fire with voters this Winter and personally began to believe he could defeat Mrs. Clinton, she was already on her way to building an all but insurmountable delegate lead."
Indeed, when Sanders announced his campaign in May 2015, he was considered a fringe candidate with wild hair and a socialist agenda that could not get very far. His name recognition was sparse in places beyond the Northeast. Yet, through concerted efforts to put the American people before big money, appealing to young voters, and small donations that averaged $27 but racked up to millions, he's proved to be a formidable challenge to Hillary Clinton, who most people thought was the obvious Democratic nominee. It's been a fascinating, admirable climb to witness, no matter what your political views.
Some argue that Sanders has also influenced the election by pushing Clinton to the left on issues, like the federal minimum wage and the Keystone Pipeline. Others compare his rise to Trump's — both are seen as party outsiders — yet he doesn't need to hurl insults at women or defend his genitalia to make his voice heard.
Sanders has given ideological people who are frustrated but hopeful an important place in our government. He has proven that ideas like universal health care, free college, the fight against income inequality, and the regulation of Wall Street aren't just some crazy ideas, but ones worth listenining to. Of course, he has faltered in proving how practical these ideas are and not everyone agrees with them. But he is accomplishing what he wanted to do: have his message heard.
When July comes around and the party chooses its nominee at the convention, it might not be Sanders. But his words will have a platform until then — and most likely beyond it.